Firing the Laser

Firing the Laser

So Don and I purchased a high quality, American made, 40 Watt laser cutter. I’ve had it about a month now.

Laser engraved iPadBack in March, a week or so before the iPad came put I picked up the most boring domain name I have owed so far – iPadLaserEngraving.com. I added minimal content since I didn’t even have the laser yet. Apparently Google likes it when your domain name is the same as a search term. The site received 1000 visits from google searches in April. I’ve now engraved 6 iPads and expect 8 more soon, not counting Don’s. It turns out that corporate orders are the easiest, they already have their artwork, their logo.

For the iPad focus I want to create an “artist series” of engravings. This would be helpful for individuals who want an engraving but don’t know quite what.

Laser engraved iPhoneThe laser is such an amazing thing. There is so much variety that I’m overwhelemed sometimes. Since I already have Slides In A Flash I think focusing on engraving photographs makes sense. A photo can be engraved on wood, stone, tile, sometimes glass. A friend of mine suggested wood cutting boards, and someone else I know does granite coasters and placemats. Shipping an order of stone is a big expense though so I definitely need to find out who has what locally.

I’d like to coordinate with wedding photographers directly and let them offer tiles as part of their print packages. To get fancier, I can add text or border frames. Some people use watercolor pencils and add some color. If they’re sealed then they can be used outside.

Along the kitchen line, Corian, the countertop stuff, can be engraved And cut on the laser. It can’t cut stone/tile/glass so that’s a nice plus. And after engraving, things can be filled with paint to add color.

It seems like kitchen designers would be good to partner with. Or architectural work in general. Just so many options. One guy locally has a laser that he uses to make cardboard animals. About six people have asked me now if I know him. I wonder if he knows how locally-famous he is. 🙂  (and I only just now realized how globally famous his creations are, wow.)

My next personal project is to make some really cool laser-cut business cards. But even here I’m not sure what material or design to focus on. I have an acrylic card that punches out to become a spirograph. Then there is a papercut card that’s made up of gears that really move. I also have some thin veneer that could be an awesome wooden business card, and want to order aluminum cards and make some of those too. See what I mean about focusing?

Edited to add pictures and Lots more photos here!

1 Comment

  1. Patrick Hannan
    Sep 8, 2010

    Sara, funny story. I found my way all the way to here from a tip you left on the Richmond airport on foursquare. Crazy, right? I think your laser engraver is a really cool machine, and was wondering if it could be used on the outer case of a MacBook pro also? I’m a freelance photographer in my free time and think it would be awesome to put one of my favorite photos on my MacBook.
    Thanks!

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